The new sampling device does not require power of any kind for its operation.
A New Sampling Device
A new sampling device has recently been developed by E. G. Boerner, assistant in grain standardization, Department of Agriculture, for securing a reliable sample of grain or seed from a larger portion. The material is thoroughly mixed and divided into two parts, so that one can be used for testing and grading and the other turned over to the buyer or seller or can be retained for future reference. The operation of this device does not require power of any kind, the material passing through the machine by gravity. … This machine can be used for sampling seeds, flour, meal, feeds, ore and coal, or any other material of like kind for examination or analysis. The machine can be made either of brass or copper, and as there are no moving parts there is nothing to wear out.
Seed Germination and the Physiology of Growth
One of the most wonderful things in nature is the growth of the plant from the seed.
We may select two seeds which look exactly alike, are composed of the same constituents and even have the same number of cells, yet each possesses its own hereditary tendencies and potentialities which will govern its growth from start to finish.
The psychological side of nature has always been hard to understand, but much light has been thrown on physiological processes by the new discoveries of recent years.
In experimenting along these lines the French scientists were the first to notice the fact that the protoplasm in the cells of the plant expanded and contracted under the stimulus of light and heat and that these pulsations causing a pressure which could be recorded were evidently responsible for life, motion and the circulation of the sap.
Then comes Dr. J.C. Bose, an eminent professor of the Presidency College of Calcutta, who has invented an instrument by which a plant writes a record of its own pulsations which determines once and for all that such pulsations exist and vary in intensity according to certain conditions of light and temperature.
New Method for Fumigating Seed
A satisfactory method for destroying injurious insects in imported seed without affecting the value of the seed has been used by the United States Department of Agriculture, and is described in a new bulletin (No. 186) entitled “A Method of Fumigating Seed.” Interested individuals who apply to the Department at Washington, D.C., will be sent the bulletin.
In the new method, the infested seed is placed in a chamber in which a partial vacuum has been created. The chamber is then filled with a very deadly gas—hydro-cyanic acid—which penetrates more effectively into the seed, because of the previously created vacuum. It has been found that a considerably shorter exposure was necessary in using this method of fumigation than in the usual method. The bulletin describes the experiment completely, giving details and illustrations of the chamber used in the experiment.
Seed Inspection in the United States
Seed inspection in the modern sense is a comparatively new institution. It originated in Germany in 1869 and in that country has become firmly established as a part of the agricultural economic system. Not only is it required by law but the farmers themselves have become educated to the value of using only the best or at least insist on knowing exactly what they are buying, thus requiring the seed to be labeled. Seed inspection in Germany grew out of the fact that seeds were being sold on the market which were not true to name, were infested with weed seeds, were low in germinating power, or were mixed with colored quartz so closely resembling seeds in color as to be indistinguishable to the untrained eye. In fact, thirty percent of the seed being sold was found to be untrue to the name under which it was offered for sale and some clover seed contained enough weed seeds to sow 9 to the square foot at the usual rate of sowing clover seed.
This condition led to the establishment of the first seed control station, which was supported largely by contributions from agricultural associations, or other agencies interested in better farming.
Germination of Some Oats Poor
A lot of Iowa’s seed oats planned for use next spring won’t grow, warns Dr. R. H. Porter, head of the Seed Laboratory at Iowa State College, Ames.
Some oat samples tested at the seed laboratory have shown very much reduced vitality. A few oat samples from the College Agronomy Farm have tested as low as 20 percent germination.
“This is an indication that oats were stored too wet and their germination has been lowered by heating in the bin,” Porter said.
Canada: New Corn Regulations
Seedsmen in Canada are worried about the new corn regulations. They consider them rather drastic. Henceforth it will be illegal to sell practically any corn unless it is grown from registered seed. This will undoubtedly mean higher prices. The new regulation will certainly be welcomed by the grower and as most seed corn is grown in a very restricted area of Canada, there should not be too much over the fence trading of ungraded stock if the government keeps on its toes but it is going to be difficult to convince a lot of farmers that the corn they will be offered in future is unworth a great deal more than the same looking stock they have bought previously. Seedsmen and others, as a rule, never doubt the government man’s sincere desire to improve quality of seeds offered for sale in Canada, but they do feel that sometimes these same government authorities underestimate the adverse influence of higher prices on sales volume.
A Report On Maize Dwarf Mosaic
Maize dwarf mosaic, the new corn disease which invaded the Midwest corn belt last year and was particularly severe along the Ohio River, is still around; but this year it has not spread as it did last year but is found in pretty much the same areas.
In the State of Iowa a corn virus disease has been found which has not yet been identified as dwarf maize mosaic.
Johnsongrass appears to be an overwintering host for the maize dwarf mosaic virus and corn growers are urged to make every possible effort to eradicate all Johnsongrass from their fields and also to plant only corn varieties which are known to be resistant to the Maize Dwarf Mosaic.
Iowa Seed Dealers Chalk Up Another Successful Convention
More than 175 people registered for the 63rd Annual Convention of the Iowa Seed Dealers Association held at the Savery Hotel, Des Moines, Iowa, October 7 and 8, 1965, for the very interesting program planned by the officers and Program Chairman, Dr. Eliot Roberts of Iowa State University.
Jerry Naylor, Naylor Seed Company, Scotch Grove, Iowa, was elected President of the Association for the coming year.
Ladies attending the convention had a luncheon at Younkers followed with a bridge tournament on Thursday. The Evening of Fun consisting of refreshments, buffet dinner and entertainment by the Des Moines Y.M.C.A. Boys Chorus and Bell Ringers was held at the Savery Hotel, Thursday evening.
Fifteen nationally known speakers helped to carry out the theme, “How to $erve, $ell and $ucceed in the Seed Business.” They included Donald Schrickel, Manager, Grain Development, The Quaker Oats Company, Chicago, on “How to Make the Most Profit Growing Oats.”
Seed Family Problems
Conservative estimates claim that 85% of the seed businesses in the U.S. are family owned and operated. Even though many of these fam
ily seed companies are small in size and local in scope, they now supply the seed for 50% of the acres planted in the U.S. No other corporation or marketing segment comes close to that.
Unfortunately, family seedsmen tend to deceive themselves. They tend to think their survival is being threatened by unfamiliar technology and “giant” corporations that now own large seed companies. In reality, adopting high technology is commonplace with family seedsmen. They have been responsible for inventing, designing and perfecting many of the innovations on which we depend today.
The real trouble with the survival of family seed businesses is, “How do you keep various family members, with all their different ideas and personalities, in the business without it blowing up or fizzling out?”
The result of not being able to incorporate diverse but interested family members into the business has been sellouts, takeovers or closeouts of many good family seed businesses.
—Frank Thorp, Thorp Seed Co.
Cargill Adds Seed-Sizing Program
Cargill Hybrid Seeds, Fargo, N.D., has completed a $250,000 improvement project at its hybrid sunflower conditioning plant. The renovation involved replacing metal seed transfer equipment with plastic material to reduce the possibility of mechanical damage to seed.
Other plant improvements totaling $228,000 were completed a year ago. Those changes included a new seed storage and transfer system that allows bulk sunflowers to be stored and handled more efficiently before being cleaned and sized. Bagging and treating equipment were installed in that project.
The company’s line of sunflower seeds for all maturities is conditioned at the Fargo plants and marketed throughout the U.S.